Cats overview of_scottish_governments_first_annual_update_of_2020_renewables_routemap
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Cats overview of_scottish_governments_first_annual_update_of_2020_renewables_routemap Document Transcript

  • 1. /iSTUART YOUNG Dunmore . Westside . Dunnet . Caithness . KW Telephone: 01847 851813. Fax: 01847 851813 8YDCONSULTING Email: The Scottish Governments First Annual UPDATE of its 2020 Routemap for Renewable Energy An Overview on Behalf of Communities Against Turbines Scotland November 2012
  • 2. Overview of the Scottish Government’s First Annual UPDATE of its 2020 Routemap for Renewable EnergyOverview of the Scottish Government’s First Annual UPDATE of its2020 Routemap for Renewable Energy INTRODUCTIONOn 30th October 2012 the Scottish Government published the first annual update to its 2020Routemap for Renewable Energy in Scotland. Young Consulting Ltd has been engaged by Communities Against Turbines Scotland(CATS) to provide an overview of the UPDATE and its associated reports.This overview simply identifies the key issues in the UPDATE and provides sufficient commentand reference to support the observations made. No comment has been made on Planning Issuesas there will be ample opportunity when the draft revised Scottish Planning Policy comes out toconsultation in Spring 2013.About CATSCommunities Against Turbines Scotland is an umbrella group representing communities andindividuals struggling against the relentless development of wind turbines.CATS - Communities Against Turbines Scotland(Concerned About Turbines Scotland)info@communitiesagainstturbinesscotland.comwww.communitiesagainstturbinesscotland.comcontact: Susan Crosthwaite07436810013 1
  • 3. Overview of the Scottish Government’s First Annual UPDATE of its 2020 Routemap for Renewable Energy OVERVIEWThe Scottish Government’s “2020 Renewable Routemap for Scotland - Update” is, like theRoutemap itself, seriously flawed in a number of respects. It is not supported by a competent Environmental Assessment and therefore may not actually be lawful. It consistently conceals the magnitude of the cost of implementation of the Scottish Government’s targets for generation by renewables through mistaken information and failure to reveal known and predictable outcomes. It assumes a market for surplus electricity which probably does not exist. It assumes that technologies which do not currently exist in deployable volumes will somehow become available in time to facilitate meeting the Governments generation targets. 2
  • 4. Overview of the Scottish Government’s First Annual UPDATE of its 2020 Routemap for Renewable Energy OBSERVATIONSEnvironmental Impact AssessmentThe 2020 Routemap for Renewable Energy in Scotland was published in July 2011 without anappropriate Strategic Environmental Impact Assessment having been carried out. In June 2012Communities Against Turbines Scotland (CATS) submitted its response to the Government’sretrospective Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) consultation. This response byCATS shows without a doubt that the SEA “simply does not address the requirements of EUDirective 2001/42/EC on Strategic Environmental Assessment”. of Magnitude of CostThe examples shown below are not exhaustive, but they are shown to demonstrate just some ofthe instances where the reader is misled or simply not informed. The presence of any one ofthese examples is enough to indicate that the entire UPDATE suite of documents should be readwith extreme caution.Example 1Under paragraph 2.8, we find:“““• The latest figures available on the Renewables Obligation (RO) show that it would have costdomestic consumers in Scotland a theoretical maximum of just over £15. Over the next fewyears (until 2017), estimates suggest that this will rise to £50.”It should be noted that this bulleted statement does not make it clear whether it is a singleconsumer or a single bill-payer, nor is it clear if the £15 and £50 figures are cumulative-to-dateor per annum.The figure of £15 is one which is frequently cited by the Scottish Government as the cost of theRenewables Obligations (RO). It assumes that only the element of the domestic electricity billwhich relates to the RO is paid for by the populace. That is not so. The initial cost of the RO toindustry and commerce through their own electricity bills is passed on through the price of goodsand services, and ultimately the total cost is borne by the 62.5 million people in the UK.The average household comprises 2.4 people, and the estimated cost of the RenewablesObligation in 2011-2012 was £1.764 billion. In 2011/2012 the £1.764 billion estimated cost of the RO was borne by 62.5 million people or 26 million households. That was £28.22 for every man, woman and child in the land or £67.73 per household. This figure is expected to nearly double for 2014/2015. 3
  • 5. Overview of the Scottish Government’s First Annual UPDATE of its 2020 Routemap for Renewable EnergyIt is particularly disappointing to find the £15 figure being quoted in the UPDATE. On Saturday22nd October 2011 the author met with Fergus Ewing MSP, Minister for Energy, Enterprise andTourism who has responsibility for the Routemap and the UPDATE. The true RO cost wasexplained to him. He listened carefully. Mr Ewing left the meeting with a pre-prepared aidememoir to the topics which were discussed and which included:“PRESENTATIONS.The true cost to the consumer of wind power including transmission upgrades.We are aware that the Minister has recently been briefed by Mr Colin Gibson and Members ofthe Royal Academy on the technical aspects of transmission and associated costs, and that hewill be aware of the nature and scale of transmission reinforcement that is needed toaccommodate wind energy on the grid.The true cost of wind energy is not just the element that appears in electricity bills. The cost ofthe Renewables Obligation which is met by commerce and industry is ultimately paid for by theconsumer.Beauly/Denny transmission upgrade has just started and is already expected to be double itsestimated cost. The Parliament Building and Edinburgh Trams spring to mind. It will deliverwind energy to Central Scotland which is already overprovided for.The consumer willultimately pay for Beauly/Denny and all other as yet uncosted transmission reinforcements.There is inadequate cross border capacity to export wind energy to England. It is perverse togenerate energy and provide the means of transporting it only half way to its point of need.However this is resolved, the consumer will bear the cost.”Example 2“Grid Access, Reinforcement and ChargingOverview2.10 Early in 2012 Ofgem announced the biggest upgrade of Scotland‟s electricity infrastructure in60 years, with up to £7 billion of investment from Scottish Power and SSE, quadrupling Scotland‟sexport capacity to the rest of the UK by 2018.”It is not made clear that the £7 billion is ultimately paid for by the electricity consumer. If sharedacross the UK, that works out at £112 per man, woman and child (£269 per household). If it hadto be paid for by Scottish consumers alone, then the per capita cost would be over £1,300(£3,200 per household).It is a harsh reality that costs of infrastructure projects tend to spiral. The Beauly to DennyOverhead Transmission Reinforcement was estimated at around £400 million when the sums tojustify consent were done. That rose to around £600 million before work started. History tellsus that that is likely to increase again before the work is finished.We have recently heard that the estimated cost of the Western Isles subsea cable link has doubledto £750 million.All overrun costs are also ultimately paid for by the consumer. 4
  • 6. Overview of the Scottish Government’s First Annual UPDATE of its 2020 Routemap for Renewable EnergyExample 3The following is an extract from the 2012 Draft Energy Policy Statement which accompaniesthe UPDATE.“The Regulatory Challenge83.We support electricity regulatory frameworks that accelerate renewable deployment,improve grid access and remove barriers to grid connection and To address theunacceptable waiting times for renewable projects waiting for a connection, the ScottishGovernment worked with the UK Government to support“connect and manage”approach to give developers more reasonable connection dates ahead of reinforcementwork to the transmission system, with socialisation the constraints management costsacross all grid users.84.Since it was introduced in August 2010, 73 large generation projects, comprisingapproximately 26 GW, have advanced their expected connection dates as a result ofthe Connect and Manage regime. 58 of those projects are in Scotland given earlyconnection and an average reduction in connection date of 6 years.” (Sic)“Connect and Manage” is the name given to a regime which has no place in an engineeredtransmission system. Essentially, windfarms were allowed to proceed before the transmissioncapability was in place. The inevitable “management” comprises making payment to windfarmsto shut down when demand is low and wind output is high, thus threatening grid stability. Inspite of the Scotland/England cross-border transmission capacity having recently been upgradedas part of the £7 billion investment referred to above, during the period 9th to 14th November2012 alone just under £750,000 was paid to Scottish windfarms to shut down because there wasno capacity on the grid for their output. In excess of £30 million has been paid to constrain offwind generators to date. will be at least three years before the proposed east and west coast subsea cables will beoperational and that will only add 3.2GW export capacity which by that time will, in alllikelihood, be swallowed up with output from newly constructed windfarms. We can only lookforward to wind energy constraint events increasing in frequency, magnitude and cost.The argument advanced by the wind industry and Government that constraint payments to windgenerators is no different to payments made by National Grid (NG) to conventional generatorsfor grid balancing purposes is a false one. NG has arrangements with multiple generators (theBalancing Mechanism) whereby it can call for more or less electricity production to balance thesupply of electricity with fluctuating demand. Wind generated electricity cannot be called for ondemand. There is no such control possible. The only control mechanism available with windenergy is to turn it off.When demand is low and wind output is rising, NG will constrain off conventional generators toallow space for the wind generated electricity. It does this for two reasons: a) conventional 5
  • 7. Overview of the Scottish Government’s First Annual UPDATE of its 2020 Routemap for Renewable Energygeneration is cheaper to constrain off than wind generation, and b) NG must take renewablegeneration when it is available.If the wind keeps rising, NG gets to a point when it has no more conventional generationavailable to be constrained off. The correct engineering solution to a threat to grid stability is toswitch off that part of the system where the problem lies, but that means disconnecting thecustomers in that area.Disconnecting customers is not desirable, either in practice or politically, therefore the gridoperator must constrain off the surplus wind energy to maintain services. In this situation thewind generator is in a strong bargaining position and can command inflated prices to shut down.Conventional generators participating in the Balancing Mechanism are compensated at levelswhich equate to actual losses.Constraining off wind generation is not an act of balancing the grid. It is an emergencyintervention to prevent the grid being destabilised by having unwanted electricity being pouredinto it. It is ironic, to say the least, that the very source of the threat to grid stability can profit insuch a manner.Example 4The UPDATE is self-congratulatory in respect of the advancement of FiTS and microgeneration.It does not explain that while the amounts of electricity to be generated by FiTS-fundedgenerating means will make little difference to meeting targets, the costs are disproportionatelyhigh and these are borne by electricity consumers. A single 10kw wind turbine operating at 25% Load Factor for one year will cost consumers £6,132 for producing £1,100 worth of electricity. A single 500kw turbine will cost consumers £225,000 for producing £55,000 worth of electricity. Solar panels are similarly subsidised by the ordinary electricity consumer.The Market for Surplus ElectricityA market operates by people buying a commodity in the quantities they want at the times theyneed it and at a cost that is acceptable to them.A market does not operate by offering a commodity for sale in random volumes at random timesand at prices much higher than the customer has to pay elsewhere for the same commodity.England is the principal target market for surplus Scottish wind generated electricity. Becausethere will be times when there will be little or no Scottish wind generated electricity at all, thento be able to use the surplus electricity England would have to make alternative arrangements forgeneration when Scottish wind generated electricity is negligible, let alone a surplus. Andindeed, make arrangements for all generation conditions between feast and famine. Thatnecessity involves policy questions well beyond the competence of the Scottish Government. 6
  • 8. Overview of the Scottish Government’s First Annual UPDATE of its 2020 Routemap for Renewable EnergyRegardless of the issue of proposed Scottish independence, the English consumer will come tounderstand that he is being required to forego his own conventional generation in order to buyScottish onshore wind generated electricity at (more or less) twice the basic cost. To add insultto injury, he will frequently have to pay for onshore wind energy to be constrained off to allowhim to buy offshore wind energy at four times the base cost of conventional energy. And he isallowed to pay for the infrastructure to enable this to happen.The customer has to be happy with the deal he is being offered. England is unlikely to concludethat reliance on Scottish surplus wind generated electricity is a good deal.For any business to embark on a huge investment without adequate market research, andsecuring the bulk of its future customers, is commercial suicide. For a nation to do it is beyondbelief, or should be, but it is actually happening now.Undeveloped Technologies etcThe UPDATE lists millions of pounds of investment to facilitate renewables research,development and support. The European Marine Energy Centre in Orkney was established in2003 yet there is not one single operational commercial-scale wave or tidal device deployed inUK waters nine years on. The undernoted extract from the Scotsman is a pretty good barometerof how far we are from commercial energy extraction from wave and tidal resources. Thehighlights are mine.““Published onWednesday 14 November 2012 00:00Orkney“based Scotrenewables Tidal Power has secured a lease from the Crown Estate to develop a30 MW tidalstream array at Lashy Sound in the Pentland Firth.This follows the company testing a 250 kW device at the European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC) in Orkney. Theproject is one of three tidal energy projects that the Crown Estate gave the green light to yesterday. Othersincluded the Solent Ocean Energy Centre off the Isle of Wight and another project near Strangford Lough,Northern Ireland.“”Extract from the UPDATE:“Energy Storage4.2 Electricity storage already plays an important role in optimising Scotland‟s power networksystem, with the pumped hydro storage facilities at Ben Cruachan (440MW, Scottish Power) and BenFoyers (300MW, SSE). Energy storage will play an increasingly crucial role in enabling the power gridto effectively manage the increased proportion of variable energy inputs alongside interconnectionand demand side measures. A wide range of technologies, at varying stages of development, andapplicable at various scales offer options for storage, including hydrogen, compressed air, andbatteries”Cruachan can operate for a maximum of 22 hours before the reservoir is empty, Foyers for 21hours. They can’t operate again until they are replenished. Pumped storage is a hugelyexpensive way of supporting wind energy for short periods. 7
  • 9. Overview of the Scottish Government’s First Annual UPDATE of its 2020 Routemap for Renewable EnergyNone of the “wide range of technologies” is remotely well enough developed to provide anyuseful storage volumes. It is normal, in developed countries, to plan energy policy around whatis known to be achievable, not what is hoped to be achievable.“4.3 Energy systems balancing is also likely to play an enabling role which supports the effectiveintegration of renewable energy. This makes use of technology opportunities to bridge betweendifferent energy systems, for instance with „grid-to-gas‟ using electrolysers to convert electrical powerinto gas energy for distribution via the gas networks.”Note “likely to play…”.With regard to “grid to gas”, see This is the relevant extract:“The wind farms that are paid most heavily to constrain their supply, predominantly in Scotland for theUK, should be targeted first. Electrolysers could be deployed at these sites, producing hydrogen for gridinjection; then, when the time comes hydrogen can either be dispensed locally or delivered to refuellingstations nationwide.”In order to effectively harness wind energy from remote sites, it seems we have to extend the gasgrid as well. Can hydrogen simply be injected into the present gas transmission system? Itsounds unlikely.“4.6 The Scottish Government is engaging with engineering institutions and other expertstakeholders to get a better understanding of the mechanics, issues and costs involved in energystorage, as well as the effectiveness of the policy levers and proposals in this area.”The logical approach is to get the understanding first and only then, if appropriate, adopt energystorage as policy.Concluding paragraphThe 2012 Draft Electricity Generation Policy which forms part of the UPDATE suite ofdocuments includes this:“4. The Scottish Government‟s policy on electricity generation is that Scotland‟s generation mix shoulddeliver: a secure source of electricity supply; at an affordable cost to consumers; which can be largely decarbonised by 2030; and which achieves the greatest possible economic benefit and competitive advantage for Scotland including opportunities for community ownership and community benefits.”It is clear that the first two objectives at least cannot be met via the Routemap and its UPDATE.It is difficult to avoid the conclusion that Scottish Government Energy Policy is not fit forpurpose.Stuart YoungNovember 2012 8